Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I did it! Pint #1, in the bag.

This is the kind of pint I really wanted to be working with today, but no such luck. On the way to the blood donation center, Rita and I passed this office- do I smell chicken wings?
Well, yesterday Rita and I couldn't get it together to donate by me, so I joined her for her appointment in Nanuet.

After a short intake questionnaire, I learned that 1) I'm nowhere near anemic (always good to know that since I haven't eaten meat in 15 years) 2) having carcinoma in situ doesn't stop you from being able to donate, you can have a C.I.S. of many organs and it's an ok condition. That made me feel good. Good thing too that I'm just past the five year mark when I stopped getting paid to have sex with hepatitis positive men from the UK. Phew, close one.

The Race is On
Rita thinks I got stuck before her, I'm willing to call it a draw. She in her chair, me in mine, the race was on to see who could fill their bag first.

I believe I've captured Rita glistening with perspiration (or is that angel dust?)as she feverishly pumps her athlete-quality blood into the bag. Oh the lucky three people who will benefit from her goodness.

And I'm taking the zen approach- willing my blood into the bag.

One completed pint! Yeah!!

It was a close race, and in the end I think neither of us won. If you prick us do we not bleed at exactly the identical rate?

Purely for medicinal purposes, we were forced to partake of cookies AND cheese crackers AND apple juice. Gray too joined the effort, taste testing the "medicine" while we were donating. What a generous kid.

In the end I learned many things.
- I don't know why I've waited so long to do something that feels so wonderful. Knowing that my blood can save (that was the nurses word, not mine) three people- wow, that blew my mind

- It's really not unpleasant. I loathe needles, and this was just a little stick and then 10 minutes or so of chatting, laughing, and laying down. I even managed to watch the blood fill the bag. Gray watched too, it didn't bother him at all.

-I will be a blood donor for the rest of my life. I'm putting my 56 days on the calendar right now and in 2 weeks or so I'll make my appointment to donate platelets. (It will take that long to get me registered in the system)though you only need 72 hours after donating whole blood to donate platelets. They take the blood out of you, remove the platelets, and then pump it back in.

- I didn't get dizzy or feel unwell even in the slightest.

I'm pretty sure I'm AB positive, a rare blood type. I'm lucky that I can receive any blood at all should I need it. However, A, B, and O can't take AB blood.

And so of course now I'm trying to figure out what Gray's blood type is- you know they don't type children when they're born. (Who knows why not, seems silly. But I can use what I know to make a good guess. Walk with me...)

If I'm AB, that's my genotype (meaning my actual genes) and my phenotype (what my genes physically present as) is AB because both alleles are co-dominant.
Matt's phenotype is B. Meaning the other allele in his genotype could be O (but the B is dominant so it masks the O) or he could be BB.
None of this helps me in figuring out what Gray's blood type is because according to the Punnet Squares and the possibilities, he can be AB, B, or A. I'll have to find out about Matt's parents.
This is almost as exciting as blogging about plants.


rita said...

That's quite a recap. What a big girl you are Jenni, you were very brave.
The intake-reception lady (aka the snacks monitor) first thought we were mother & daughter. (feh, I'm old enough, and yeh, I've become an old hag I suppose). But in my lukewarm attempt to disabuse her of the idea, she instead became convinced somehow that I'm actually Jenni's GRANDmother, and well, Intake Lady found that vastly more plausible. So she regaled us with tales of her relationship with her grandmother for the duration of our stay. Pretty funny.

genotype.phenotype.punnet squares.phhhttth. ask me to demonstrate my grasp of the doppler effect next time you see me.

Jenni said...

I was going to let the grandmother mentioning pass, but let's address it. It's obviously that I'm so young looking as to be confused with a zygote. It's no commentary on your beauty.
I can't believe Gray didn't correct her! That was fun.
Thanks for going Rita, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike said...

Great Job Jenni and Rita! I gave last night as well. I get an A+ everytime...unless that's my blood type their writing down. No matter, it's an A+.
Our blood center has a website that keeps track of your donations, cholesterol, next give date, etc. It's like for donting blood. Yours may too.
Thanks again for giving you two.

rita said...

"we were forced to partake of cookies AND cheese crackers AND apple juice."

Like you've never gone out for lunch before...

I always get an A+ too, Mike. Jenni gets one too, punnet squares not withstanding.

Jenni said...

Mike, were you planning to donate anyway? Or were you inspired. If inspired, I shall like to add you to my list of people I'm moving towards donating. By the end of 2009, I'd like to tally up and see how much blood/platelets/good we've done.
I'm planning to become part of the Fat Cyclist team in the LiveStrong challenge. Do you know of it? Do you want in? I know you're far away, we can all raise money/awareness/blood together.

Mike said...

Well your story was really inspiring but alas, I was scheduled to give this week. My late fiancee challenged me one day to give and like you it felt great. Now I challenge my two sisters and their husbands to give and we try to make it a family day at the blood center. I've been giving 4-6 times a year since 2003. Your story re-energizes me to keep giving.
Isn't it rather ironic that you would be joining the Fat Cyclist team? I've seen your pictures. ;-)
I'll have to look the Fat Cyclist up when I get home, it's blocked here at work. I've ridden in Lance's "Ride for the Roses" bike ride a couple of times in Austin. I believe it's part of the Livestrong Challenge now. Which location will you be doing the Challenge?
And Rita, older sister yes, mom maybe, Grandmother? oh please! :-)

Jenni said...

Whatever the inspiration, it's a great thing to do, so kudos to you! And it's especially to do it with someone special in mind.
I'm not really that sure of the details of the LiveStrong thing yet. I'll just go where ever is closest- Philadelpia? I'm going to work on the detail in December and figure everything out. Until then, I'll be counting the day until the next donation- January 14th.
Today, it's off to Portland- yeah!
And though we're joining the Fat Cyclist team, we're really of course the Phat Cyclists. Holla.

Jenni said...

Jeez, I should really read things before I publish them. Excuse all the typos in that last post, I'm hauling butt to get to Portland.

rita said...

Hey Jenni,
I told you I've always liked that Mike feller ;)